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OTRC: 'Scandal' recap: Season 3, episode 17 - 5 highlights (Spoilers)

Khandi Alexander, Nazanin Boniadi and Kerry Washington appear in 'Scandal' season 3 episode 17 titled 'Flesh and Blood,' which aired on April 10, 2014. (ABC / Kelsey McNeal)

In tonight's episode of "Scandal," titled "Flesh and Blood," the hunt for Maya kept Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, and her team watching their backs, but despite their best efforts, the reality of the season's penultimate episode is simple, yet harsh: no one is safe.

Previously, in the episode titled "The Fluffer," Olivia let Fitz, played by Tony Goldwyn, have it after feeling as though he only keeps her around to service his every need, both personally and professionally. She also dealt with some mixed emotions about Jake, played by Scott Foley. Though she initially didn't want to even set eyes on him, she eventually had to channel whatever feelings she had to seduce him, all in order to get near his phone that contained B-613's secrets.

The episode also gave Gladiators a glimpse at what a family dinner looks like between Olivia, Rowan (played by Joe Morton) and Maya (played by Khandi Alexander) - and it contained knife threats. Awkward family dinner time was child's play compared to what Maya had up her sleeve by the episode's end. It is revealed that she is in possession of a large bomb, and before Jake and his B-613 agents could move in on Washington D.C.'s most wanted, Pope & Associates successfully cuts off all of their sources, leaving Olivia feeling accomplished and Jake enraged.

(Read a FULL RECAP of the previous episode of "Scandal" - season 3, episode 16 "The Fluffer" here, which aired on April 3.)

Check out 5 highlights from the episode "Flesh and Blood," which aired on Thursday, April 10. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

1. Band of Gladiators

Now that B-613's resources have been all but diminished, the hunt for Maya Lewis has proven to be too large of a task for Olivia Pope & Associates. She enlists the help of Jake AND her father Rowan to all band together in order to track her down, despite the extremely obvious displeasure of the two "commands."

When Jake and Rowan find it impossible to work together in the same vicinity, Jake warns Olivia that Rowan is simply putting up a front and is not the changed man she believes him to be. As a command of B-613, Jake reminds Olivia that he has become the person that he is is today, the person she detests, because of what her father taught him, and that despite her desire for change, it's simply not going to happen. He warns her to run, but it's apparent in Olivia's eyes that she wants to see it all through, no matter what.

Additional help in the hunt for Maya came from Charlie, played by George Newbern, and Quinn, played by Katie Lowes, who had an awkward reunion with her former O.P.A. crew. While the matters surrounding the reunion were serious, it didn't stop the occasional sprinkle of shade to be tossed around the office, coming namely from Abby, played by Darby Stanchfield. Upon seeing the two together, she says, "Could it be more awkward in here ... guess so ..."

2. CONFIRMED: Olivia loves Fitz, Jake downgraded to a "betrayal".

With Fitz in the know of the target on his back, Olivia sternly urges him that under no circumstances is he to leave The White House, despite there being six days and lots of campaigning to do before the election. Staying in The White House, however gives Sally Langston, played by Kate Burton, and her minion Leo, played by Paul Adelstein, an upper hand in all the key states Fitz needs to win.

Feeling anxious, Fitz calls Olivia and practically begs to be let out of The White House in order to make an important campaign appearance in Defiance, Ohio. Olivia does not want to hear it and urges him to stick to the plan, saying, "If you're dead, how am I supposed to ..." Gladiators, you know what she wanted to say! In that moment, Fitz tells her he misses her, which sounded sincere up until the point his jealousy showed again, saying, "I don't want you sleeping with Jake, it makes me crazy."

Later on, Olivia has a similar one-on-one phone call with Jake, only it wasn't the same sort of warm and fuzzy reception that Fitz received. Olivia places the call to Jake, but she doesn't know why she is doing it. Jake thinks it's about the tryst they had the evening before, to which he felt was more than just a one night stand. Olivia claims it was just her getting information, but Jake refuses to believe her, saying he felt they had a connection while together.

Olivia then delivers the harsh news to Jake that she loves Fitz, and that her night with him feels like nothing more than a betrayal. Way harsh, Liv! It is clear that Olivia truly does love Fitz, but it's hard to believe that she simply doesn't have the same feelings for Jake, despite everything that's happened. While she says it must be easier for her mother Maya to have absolutely no feelings of love for anyone, can it be possible for Olivia to be the opposite, and love not one, but two? Time will tell ...

3. Russian Roulette.

While Maya is everyone's main target, Olivia's crew also sets their sights on Dominic Bell, the man who gave Maya the bomb. Charlie, Quinn and Huck, played by Guillermo Diaz, are tasked with bringing Dominic in, but bicker about how they are going to do so. Huck is ultimately successful and drags in Dominic's body into Pope & Associates.

When questioning Dominic turns out to be a bust for all three, Rowan feels it's time to bring in the big guns, quite literally taking on the task himself with the help of a pistol and one bullet. Olivia urges him not to do anything, however, Rowan confesses that Dominic Bell is the only man her mother Maya ever loved, and Rowan proceeds to threaten him with a game of Russian roulette.

With Dominic at his mercy, Rowan gets Maya on the phone, threatening her that he will kill her lover if she does not reveal the location of the bomb. As cold as she comes, Maya delivers her iciest demeanor yet, allowing Dominic to be the human sacrifice in her attempt to keep the bomb location secret. She bids Dominic farewell, and while Rowan said he merely wanted to scare Maya, he kills Dominic after the phone call ends.

A distraught Olivia cannot bare what has happened, telling her father the next day that killings do not take place in her office. Rowan, ever the honest man, is not fazed by Olivia's displeasure of his actions, telling her that he enjoyed killing Dominic and that he "waited a long time to kill that man." Rowan goes on to explain to Olivia that Dominic was responsible for ruining his life, and that it was he who pushed Maya into a relationship with him to get information. Olivia, however, clarifies Rowan's judgments, telling him that if she truly loved Dominic, she wouldn't have killed him and that Maya loves no one.

4. Mellie's almost moment of truth.

It's been a tough election for Mellie. Correction, it's been a tough 15 years for Mellie. With the election nearing closer and closer, the anxiety of it all is clearly wearing on the First Lady, who's been hitting the bottle a lot harder now that her tryst with Andrew, played by Jon Tenney, is over. Despite being a little more inebriated than usual, it hasn't stop Mellie from maintaining her title as The First Lady of Shade. When Fitz declares that somebody out there wants him dead, she says, "You think it's just out there?"

Things get decidedly less humorous for Mellie when Olivia informs her that Sally Langston and Leo are digging into the paternity of her children, questioning whether or not they are truly Fitz's children. When Mellie refuses to engage in the conversation, Olivia asks her point blank, "Which one is Andrews?" Mellie looks at her in a state of shock at the accusation. Gladiators know Mellie's sad, painful truth, but Olivia and everyone else in her life have been kept in the dark about Mellie's rape by her father-in-law.

Mellie becomes distraught and tells Olivia that she wants Fitz to burn after having burdened the secret for 15 years. She screams, "I have lived this lie for 15 years. And all the while I have watched him walk away from me. I have been destroyed, while I have made him president. IT IS MY TURN." She then mutters under her breath that Big Jerry, Fitz's father, is not a cross she wants to be nailed to anymore.

Olivia hears her, but what she hears isn't Mellie's entire truth. Yes, she has confessed that Fitz's father may be the father of one of her children, but she still didn't reveal her entire truth. Time will tell if she will, and what repercussions that it will have, but one thing is certain: Mellie needs a hug.

5. Defying Defiance.

Feeling imprisoned at The White House, Fitz defies Olivia's orders and books a helicopter to Defiance, Ohio to make an important appearance at a high school. When Olivia fears for his life, Rowan urges her to go with him, telling her that her mother will not kill her if she is there because she does, in fact, love her. Despite her previous thoughts on the subject, Olivia takes Rowan's advice and joins Fitz on the trip.

While in Defiance, Olivia is informed that the bomb is located at the high school, and before anything could happen to all the people in attendance, Fitz informs the crowd that a sprinkler malfunctioned and the building is ultimately evacuated. The coast is clear ...

All was not safe in Washington D.C., however, when David Rosen, played by Joshua Malina, learns that Senator Hightower, who passed away of an apparent heart attack in the beginning of the episode, was actually murdered by Maya. With Fitz set to make the eulogy at the funeral, Jake informs Cyrus, played by Jeff Perry, of the news and orders him to keep Fitz away from the funeral and that the church needs to be cleared immediately. Cyrus says he'll alert the FBI and Secret Service, but leaves two people off of his next call list: Sally Langston and Leo.

In the midst of it all, Olivia returns after her Defiance trip to find Rowan shot by Maya and gasping for breath in her office. Quinn and Huck find her by his side, telling them an ambulance is coming. Olivia is distraught, and the whereabouts of Maya remain a mystery as the bomb is officially set to run out within the next hour: the season finale. Grab your popcorn and wine, Gladiators, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

BONUS MOMENT: The "Quick" Factor.

All power couples have combined nicknames: Brangelina, Bennifer, the list over the years is endless, and "Scandal" has given birth to another new power couple: Quinn and Huck, but for flare, let's begin to refer to them as "Quick." Not only is it a play on their names, but it is fitting for their quick rise to coupling, after only weeks ago the two were hurling nothing but spit and licks at each other. While those things are still a factor in their coupledom (gross), the two made their desire for each no secret to anyone after getting hot and heavy in the middle of a parking garage. "Quick," indeed.

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